Debra Jeter, 33, pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder on Tuesday in an attack in Hillsboro that killed one of her daughters and seriously injured the other. Before entering the state prison, she told her surviving daughter and estranged husband that she was moved and she was sorry.
Jett was transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Prison Unit in Gatesville on Thursday after being sentenced to life in prison without parole on Tuesday, a plea deal that avoided the possibility of her being sentenced to death, and she survived. The daughter was also not traumatized by her testimony.
Lee Jeter said Friday that she was meeting estranged husband Lee and surviving daughter Kiersten before she was transferred.
He said she told him she still hated him but was sorry for what happened.
He said his daughter had some lighthearted moments with her mother, talking and laughing, but said that would never happen again outside the prison walls.
He said Debra told him the reason she attacked Kirsten and her sister Kelsey was because she was heartbroken over the couple’s split and ensuing custody battle.
“She thought if she felt this way, we all have to feel this way, and she wanted to take all our pain away,” he said.
Jett said his daughter kept him going, adding that she told him, “Kelsey doesn’t want us to give up.”
Debra Jeter has been behind bars since she was arrested on June 5, 2009, after making a startling 911 call and reporting that she had killed her daughter.
Hill County lawmakers, the Hillsboro Police Department and state troopers gathered at an abandoned farmhouse on U.S. Route 77 off Interstate 35 to find Jett in the garage with his hands above his head.
Police found 12-year-old Kelsey Leanne Jeter dead at home and 13-year-old Kiersten Leigh Jeter seriously injured in her bedroom.
Authorities said Kirsten was stabbed in the back, apparently trying to protect her sister during the attack.
Debra Jeter can be heard in a 911 tape released Wednesday begging operators to send an ambulance to an abandoned home in Hill County, where she was killed in an attack that left her youngest daughter dead and her eldest daughter injured. Seriously wounded, a knife was used.
“I just killed my baby,” Jeter told the dispatcher.